Frauds & Scams

Inspector General Updates Public About OIG Impersonation Scheme

March 31, 2017 • By

Last Updated: August 19, 2021

elderly woman on cell phoneGale Stallworth Stone, the Acting Inspector General of Social Security, is urging citizens to remain vigilant of a nationwide telephone impersonation scheme.  Since alerting the public in early March about suspicious calls from people posing as Office of the Inspector General (OIG) investigators, the Social Security Administration (SSA) and the OIG have received additional reports and information about the phone scheme from citizens across the country.

According to reports, the calls include a recorded message from an “officer with the Inspector General of Social Security.”  The recording states the person’s Social Security account, Social Security number (SSN), and/or benefits are suspended, and the person should call a non-SSA number to resolve the issue.  For instance, a common recording from “Nancy Jones” requests citizens call 806-680-2373.  Upon calling the number, an unknown person alerts unsuspecting citizens about a warrant for their arrest.  The unknown person urges citizens to purchase iTunes cards, other gift cards, or prepaid banking cards, for hundreds of dollars, and to provide the card information to the unknown person, to resolve the warrant.

Acting Inspector General Stone advises that citizens:

  • Avoid calling any number provided by a suspicious source, as the unknown source might pressure you to provide your personal information, or to make a payment or purchase for fictitious reasons.
  • Avoid making payments over the phone or purchasing gift cards or banking cards to resolve government or business matters.

“This scheme targets unsuspecting persons and uses scare tactics to defraud them of their resources,” Acting Inspector General Stone said.  “Citizens should be very careful and avoid responding to suspicious calls.  If an unknown person pressures you on the phone into providing payments or making purchases for odd reasons, don’t think twice about hanging up.”

If a person receives a similar suspicious call from someone alleging to be from the OIG, citizens may report that information to the OIG at 1-800-269-0271 or online via https://oig.ssa.gov/report.

If a person has questions about any communication—phone call, email, letter, or text—that claims to be from SSA or the OIG, please contact your local Social Security office, or call Social Security’s toll-free customer service number at 1-800-772-1213, 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., Monday through Friday, to verify its legitimacy.  (Those who are deaf or hard-of-hearing can call Social Security’s TTY number at 1-800-325-0778.)


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About the Author

Andrew Cannarsa, OIG Communications Director

Comments

  1. Hope C.

    I have received the scam call claiming to be SSA. I saved the number & called it back & the guy answered so I set the phone down for 10 minutes, this guy called me every name under the sun. the number is 217-481-7599.

    • Vonda V.

      Hi Hope: If the caller is claiming to be from Social Security—it is critical that you pay attention to the tone and content of the message from the caller. In some cases, the caller states that Social Security does not have all of your personal information, such as your Social Security number (SSN), on file. Other callers claim Social Security needs additional information so the agency can increase your benefit payment, or they threaten that Social Security will terminate your benefits if they do not confirm your information. This appears to be a widespread issue, as reports have come from people across the country. These calls are not from Social Security.

      If you receive a call from someone claiming to be from Social Security, we urge you to always be cautious and to avoid providing sensitive information such as your SSN or bank account information. Never reveal personal data to a stranger who calls you, and never send the stranger money via wire transfer or gift cards.

      Social Security employees will never threaten you for information; they will not state that you face potential arrest or other legal action if you fail to provide information or pay a fee. In those cases, the call is fraudulent, and you should just hang up. If you receive these calls, report the information to the Office of the Inspector General at 1-800-269-0271 or online at oig.ssa.gov/report.

  2. Renee W.

    Caller ID said 602-903-3942
    Scam about legal enforcement action has been filed against your social security number, need to call 602-903-3942 before legal proceedings begin against you.

    • Vonda V.

      Hi Renee: If the caller is claiming to be from Social Security—it is critical that you pay attention to the tone and content of the message from the caller. In some cases, the caller states that Social Security does not have all of your personal information, such as your Social Security number (SSN), on file. Other callers claim Social Security needs additional information so the agency can increase your benefit payment, or they threaten that Social Security will terminate your benefits if they do not confirm your information. This appears to be a widespread issue, as reports have come from people across the country. These calls are not from Social Security.

      If you receive a call from someone claiming to be from Social Security, we urge you to always be cautious and to avoid providing sensitive information such as your SSN or bank account information. Never reveal personal data to a stranger who calls you, and never send the stranger money via wire transfer or gift cards.

      Social Security employees will never threaten you for information; they will not state that you face potential arrest or other legal action if you fail to provide information or pay a fee. In those cases, the call is fraudulent, and you should just hang up. If you receive these calls, report the information to the Office of the Inspector General at 1-800-269-0271 or online at oig.ssa.gov/report.

      • Geraldine L.

        I have received a scam call and tried to report it, the numbers given does NOT give the option in the prompts to report scam calls. Got a run around about reporting the scam call both online and by phone. I finally did make a report on the fraud site but not sure if it was the right place to do so. PLEASE either add a prompt on the numbers given to call and report scam calls OR make a phone number specifically to report scam calls. All the run around makes it very hard to report scam calls.

  3. Dorothy

    I have received a call from social security office and the number is 413-752-0730 and another one 413-252-4913 please be aware that this is scam

  4. Bernard

    It’s really very difficult in this busy life to listen news
    on Television, so I only use the web for that reason, and take the newest information. viagra online

  5. Wayne M.

    We were contacted today by an individual who identified himself as a SSA member. He bore a distinct Indian accent and the PHONE ID# was1-214-717-5588 which after checking is from Grand PR Texas. He stated that he needed information at which time I advised him that the phone call was being recorded and that I would not give him any information. He advised us that we would be arrested and prosecuted at which time I advised him to “BRING IT ON” and I hung up.

  6. Merry M.

    Can the cybercriminals be prosecuted, fined or imprisoned?

  7. Gail L.

    My parents were recently victimized by a SSA scam claiming they could receive an additional $95 a month. My father gave them SS#s and bank account numbers. I think I have finally gotten the situation resolved after three visits to their local SSA office. Can we assume an investigation has been initiated? or do I have to report it?

    • Ann C.

      Hi, Gail. We are sorry to hear about your parents’ situation. Generally, identity theft issues are handled by the Federal Trade Commission. You can find more information on their website: http://www.idtheft.gov or by calling 1-877-IDTHEFT (1-877-438-4338). To learn more about the steps individuals can take to prevent or resolve issues of identity theft, read our publication: “Identity Theft and Your Social Security Number”. We hope this helps.

  8. Cheryl S.

    my mother, Gloria Sandon, age 86, just recieved a call saying her social security card has been fraudulently used in Texas and to call them at 1-712-202-0128 to avoid legal action. We did not return the call as we know it is a scam and want to alert you so you can let the other elderly social security people know about this scam. thank you for all you do.

  9. Richard P.

    I got the following email. Is this a scammer or a valid SSA employee?

    Dear RICHARD PAUL MCCOOK

    Please call our office before Thursday, January 17, 2019 and ask for Betty Schur. The telephone number is 855-249-4342 ext.2085014. We need to talk to you about:

    Benefits your spouse or children may be able to receive.

    When you call our office, please have this letter with you. It will help us to serve you more quickly.

    Social Security Administration

    • Ray F.

      Hello Richard. This appears to be a legitimate contact from one of our representatives. Please reach out to Ms. Schur at your earliest convenience. Thanks!

  10. Lisa

    Impersonator phone (240)269-0271

Comments are closed.